We all know that confession is good for the soul. But confession is hard. To really admit that I did something wrong and was fully responsible for it is one of the hardest things we can do. Many people live their whole lives without ever having anyone confess clearly and fully the wrong they did to them. All of us hate to admit we did wrong.

Now sometimes we come to a point that we can confess to God that we sinned. Slowly we admit to God that we really did lie and then claim the promise that we are forgiven. This is a healthy step.

But we begin to notice that we are confessing the same sin over and over. We begin to wonder if God is tired of us admitting that we blew it again. At some point we are slow to even confess the sin again, embarrassed that we would have to admit yet again that this particular sinful habit had occurred in our lives.

How can we escape this pattern?

First, we can begin to think about why is sin we committed not just against the will of God but really a horrible thing to do. To avoid a behavior we have to lose faith in its beauty and effectiveness. Our vision of it is must be that it brings harm to others as well as themselves.

For example, a lie steals from us inner integrity. It makes it harder for us to admire ourselves. It steals from others their right to have the truth. If discovered it damages trust in our relationship and if not discovered it produces a distance between the one and ourselves to whom we lied since we must never admit. By really deepening our understanding of the real damage and evil a sin produces we can begin reduce our desire for this activity.

Second, we can look to look at all the other sins that may be connected to this sin. Perhaps we avoided devotions after lying because we did not want to talk to God about it or only formally went through them afraid that intimacy with God would expose our sin to HIM. The person we lied to we also failed to love as we would like to be loved. Everyone wants to be told the truth so when we lie we don’t treat others, as we would like to have them treat us. We might also find that our ultimate value (this is an idol) is never to be embarrassed and the truth would have brought shame to us. This means that there is something we value more that God’s will so the lying is really a fruit of an “idol” or cherished value that is greater than our desire to seek first the kingdom.

Now I am just using lying as an illustration. It could be any sin. The idea is to think, journal, meditate, and pray about the sin in depth. This can deepen our repentance and help us forsake this behavior more consistently.

Choose one sin that is a habit in your life and this week strive to confess it in-depth. See if this does not help you get it out of your life.